PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The fentanyl epidemic: You have questions and we have answers.
On Thursday, KOIN 6 News aired a television special examining the epidemic of fentanyl from a local perspective, focusing on how this crisis impacts our schools, families, law enforcement and health care systems.
The special, titled “What Every Parent Needs to Know About Fentanyl,” features an expert panel to answer questions on how fentanyl impacts the human brain, signs of substance use disorder and more. The special was then followed by a Facebook Live Q&A session on KOIN 6’s Facebook page.
Community leaders and professionals addressing the deadly epidemic shared their experiences and discuss ways to stop this growing crisis.
Guests included Jacob D. Galvan, acting special agent in charge at the DEA’s Seattle Field Division; Mary Stevens-Krogh, district coordinator for Substance Use Supports at Portland Public Schools; Dr. Bradley Buchheit, an assistant professor of family medicine at OHSU School of Medicine and the director of a low-barrier clinic providing medication for the treatment of substance use disorder; Kristen Gustafson, secondary health and PE TOSA at Beaverton School District; James Wahlberg, executive director at the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, an activist, filmmaker and author of “The Big Hustle”; Jon and Jennifer Epstein, parents who lost their son to fentanyl poisoning in 2020 and who have since worked with a non-profit called Song for Charlie which is ‘dedicated to raising awareness about “fentapills”‘; and Brian and Brenda Martinek, parents who lost their son to Fentanyl poisoning in 2017 and who are now advocating for change through Oregon’s legislature.
The television special was hosted by KOIN 6’s Jeff Gianola and Elizabeth Dinh.